The 2017 World Happiness Report reported that work-life balance is now one of the strongest predictors of happiness.
Unfortunately, more than half of Americans are
Work-life balance and
In many cases, work-life balance means not being confined to a 9 to 5 timetable or an inflexible schedule. This kind of rigidity always prioritizes work before all else. Work takes up that chunk of the day no matter what else is going on in life.
This can throw off the desired "balance" that makes individuals happier,
Work-life balance is about expending energy to various parts of life: work,
1. Work-life balance prioritizes social time.
Social interaction is one of the biggest predictors of happiness. The more time spent with people, the happier you'll be.
Work-life balance provides more time to spend with family and friends. You can better schedule your work around your life. With flexible work, you can take a Tuesday afternoon off to see your child's soccer game and talk to the other parents at the game. You can make up the necessary work later that evening, the next morning, or over the weekend. You have the flexibility to prioritize people over projects when need be.
This actually improves productivity. Work-life balance encourages social collaboration, which leads to increased creativity, ideas, and productivity.
2. Flexibility enables a greater focus on health.
Health is the foundation to happiness and productivity. If you don't have a healthy mind and body, you can't work at peak capacity.
This is because they have the flexibility to prioritize the key "stressor" on their plate at any given time. If they have something going on at home, they can be present to handle it. If they have a big project at work, they can spend more time at work that week knowing next week they can take time off to be with their families.
Moreover, flexible work provides more time to focus on health as a key value. People can schedule doctor's appointments and not have to worry about taking a day off of work. They can take time in the morning to workout, showing up to work later in the day when they're more productive. They can take time off to recover from the flu and not infect everyone else in the office. Health can finally be a priority.
Flexible work allows individuals to take off when they need to, thus avoiding the
Flex work options can also help workers avoid traffic, which is the number one cause of stress in our daily lives. People who don't drive during rush hour have lower anxiety and stress levels
A healthy workforce lowers healthcare costs, improves safety of the workplace, and builds a high-performance workforce.
3. Self-scheduling balance improves autonomy.
The strongest form of work-life balance tends to stem from flexible work options that enable employees to pursue their own definition of "balance." This naturally instills a sense of autonomy by putting the power of work-life balance in the hands of the worker.
Respondents of World Life Happiness Report stated that autonomy is directly linked to job satisfaction. The ability to control your actions and schedule impacts your happiness and efficiency levels. People who feel they have freedom at work are more engaged with their work overall.
4. Happiness at home produces happiness in the workplace.
There is an irrefutable correlation between personal and professional lives. Stress in one area bleeds out to stress in other parts of life.
If you want to be a happy person, you need happiness in all areas of your life. This happiness stems from living a work-life balance that aligns your values and priorities appropriately.
5. Happy workers are more motivated, engaged, and productive.
Workers who are happy are more satisfied with their lives and job.
Moreover, this motivation and productivity, in turn, leads to a
Ultimately, work-life balance and
It's time to start demanding autonomy, flexibility, and happiness in your work.